Monday, March 17, 2014

"Mere Bad Behavior" Not Enough

A significant statement by the Illinois Supreme Court on the charging practices of the Illinois Administrator

M.R.25901 - In re: John P. Edmonds.    (March 14, 2014)

Disciplinary Commission.

The amended petition by the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission for leave to file exceptions to the report and recommendation of the Review Board is denied without prejudice to refile a petition within twenty-eight (28) days; the Administrator is directed to review paragraphs 78 and 79 of the Court's opinion in In re Karavidas, 2013 IL 115767, as those paragraphs relate to the Administrator's decision to amend his petition for leave to file exceptions and not pursue exceptions to the Review Board's findings that respondent did not breach his fiduciary duty in Counts II, III and V; specifically:

" attorney's breach of fiduciary duty or conversion does not, standing alone, warrant the imposition of professional discipline. ...discipline for conduct occurring outside the attorney-client relationship should be limited to situations where the attorney's conduct violates the Rules by demonstrating "a lack of professional or personal honesty which render[s] him unworthy of public confidence." [citation omitted].

In sum, we hold that professional discipline may be imposed only upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent attorney has violated one or more of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Mere bad behavior that does not violate one of the Rules is insufficient."

Order entered by the Court.

(Mike Frisch)

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In California, our discipline prosecutors like to charge bad behavior as acts of moral turpitude in violation of our Bus. & Prof. Code section 6106 when they see something they don't like that doesn't clearly violate the rules.

Posted by: David Cameron Carr | Mar 18, 2014 6:26:19 AM

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